1966 Ford Lotus Cortina MkI Sports Saloon Registration no. SEU 432D Chassis no. BA74EK59827 Engine no. LP4408LB-A
Ford's 1960s profile-raising competition programme included recruiting Lotus boss Colin Chapman to give the new Cortina a sporting makeover. Chapman's brief was to develop a Group 2 competition version; Lotus would then build the 1,000 cars required for homologation. Launched in 1963, the Lotus Cortina - Cortina Lotus in Ford parlance - featured the Elan's Ford-based, twin-overhead-camshaft, 1.6-litre engine in the two-door bodyshell. McPherson strut independent front suspension was retained, with revised spring and damper rates, while the rear leaf springs were replaced by coil-spring/damper units, axle location being achieved by trailing arms and an 'A' bracket. The adoption of an alloy differential casing proved a mixed blessing, the lightweight component proving far less oil-tight than the original.
Reversion to Ford's standard leaf-sprung axle cured the problem. Lotus Cortinas dominated saloon racing's 2-litre class, often challenging for outright honours. Works cars were driven by Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Peter Arundell and Jackie Ickx, while Sir John Whitmore, driving an Alan Mann-entered Lotus Cortina, was European Touring Car Champion in 1965. After the axle change, the hitherto fragile Lotus Cortina proved a highly capable rally car, works driver Bengt Soderstrom winning the Acropolis and RAC rallies in 1966.
This left-hand drive Lotus Cortina MkI was in the previous owner's possession for eight years and prior to that had covered only 500 miles over a 14-year period while in a private collection in the USA. It has covered only 36,878 miles to date. 'SEU 432D' is totally original even down to the carpets, seats, headlining and all body panels, and has won numerous concours awards at Lotus Cortina Club shows. There are original Certificates of Title dating back to 1971 in the large history file, which also contains the original handbooks and paperwork relating to all work carried out, including details of an engine rebuild undertaken by Anderson Racing in 2005 upon its arrival back in the UK. The car also benefits from a new set of tyres and is MoT'd to November 2014. Finished in Ermine White with contrasting Sherwood Green stripe and black vinyl interior, this outstandingly original, award-winning Lotus Cortina is offered with dating certificate, current road fund licence and V5C registration document.